Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman pressed Israel’s policy to oust Iran from Syria, while in Moscow for a conference of defense ministers, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday.
Liberman stated that Israel will “not allow the concentration of Iranian and Hezbollah forces on the Golan Heights,” during the Moscow visit, where he met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, along with defense minister from 24 countries.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who also met with Lavrov, expressed similar sentiments. Saudi Arabia “would like to put an end to Iran’s involvement in the region,” he was quoted as saying.
“We believe that they have no place in Syria or in any other part of the world. These groups influence the situations in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Gulf countries, Yemen. Hezbollah is carrying out its operations in various Middle East regions and follows Iran’s agenda,” Jubeir said.
However, Lavrov was unmoved by the Israeli and Saudi appeals.
“We don’t see Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. We believe that both of them [Iran and Hezbollah] — like Russia’s Air Forces — came to Syria following the request of the legitimate government,” Lavrov said.
Liberman also commented on the mounting crisis in Gaza, saying that “Hamas collects taxes from Gaza Strip residents, but instead of using it for the welfare of the residents and improving the living conditions in the Strip, it invests them in manufacturing rockets and digging tunnels.”
“The problem is not between Israel and the Palestinians, but rather an internal conflict among Palestinians, inside Fatah, between Hamas and Fatah and really, between Ramallah and Gaza,” Liberman added.